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(Article 36)

On September 18, 1967, Salvador Abunado married Narcisa Arceo at
the Manila Cit !all be"ore #ev$ %edro &ian'co$ (n 1988, Narcisa le"t "or )apan
to *or+ but returned to the %hilippines in 199,, *hen she learned that her
husband *as havin' an e-tra.marital a/air and has le"t their con0u'al home$
Narcisa "ound that Salvador is cohabitin' *ith 1e Cora2on %lato$ She also
"ound out that Salvador contracted a second marria'e *ith certain a 3enaida
4ias be"ore )ud'e 5ilian 6inulos %anonton'an in San Mateo, #i2al$ On
)anuar 19, 1997, an annulment case *as 8led b Salvador a'ainst Narcisa$
On Ma 18, 1997, a case "or bi'am *as 8led b Narcisa a'ainst Salvador and
3enaida$ Salvador admitted that he 8rst married 3enaida on 6ecember ,9,
1977 be"ore a municipal trial court 0ud'e in Concepcion, (loilo and has "our
children *ith her prior to their separation in 1966$ (t appeared ho*ever that
there *as no evidence o" their 1977 marria'e so he and 3enaida remarried on
)anuar 1:, 1989, upon the re;uest o" their son "or the purpose o" complin'
*ith the re;uirements "or his commission in the militar$ Salvador *as
convicted "or bi'am b the trial court$ Salvador petitioned "or a revie* and
claims that his petition "or annulment<declaration o" nullit o" marria'e *as a
pre0udicial ;uestion, hence, the proceedin's in the bi'am case should have
been suspended durin' the pendenc o" the annulment case$
=hether the petition "or annulment or nullit o" marria'e *as a
pre0udicial ;uestion, hence the proceedin's in the bi'am case should be
No$ A pre0udicial ;uestion has been de8ned as one based on a "act
distinct and separate "rom the crime but so intimatel connected *ith it that it
determines the 'uilt or innocence o" the accused, and "or it to suspend the
criminal action, it must appear not onl that said case involves "acts
intimatel related to those upon *hich the criminal prosecution *ould be
based but also that in the resolution o" the issue or issues raised in the civil
case, the 'uilt or innocence o" the accused *ould necessaril be determined$
&he rationale behind the principle o" suspendin' a criminal case in vie* o" a
pre0udicial ;uestion is to avoid t*o con>ictin' decisions$ &he declaration o"
the 0udicial declaration o" nullit is immaterial to the prosecution o" the
criminal case o" bi'am because such crime has been consummated durin'
the period *herein the marria'e is supposedl subsistin'$ &he innocence or
'uilt o" the petitioner is not determined b the annulment case$ A marria'e is
deemed valid until the declaration o" its nullit or a 0udicial declaration o"